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Day 21 of 26 :: Out in the open.

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 HANNAH

I'm a writer, author, and online educator who loves helping others build intentional lives through the power of habit and meaningful routines.

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Over the next few days, I want to introduce you to two individuals in this story that are often understated and easily overlooked: Simeon and Anna.

These two were both very old in age which seems to be a common thread in the book of Luke. The writer is consistently stressing the old age of people like Simeon, Anna, Zechariah, and Elizabeth.

During the time of Jesus’ birth, many were on watch for the redemption story coming down from David’s line as it was promised. However, many people thought the story would be… how should I write this? A little more… glorious? They thought there might be something supernatural and wild about his coming.

There might be a great battle scene or a heroic entrance.

Some imagined there would be armies with banners, that the coming of this King would be loud and fiery.

And then there was a group of people known as the “Quiet in the Land.” These were people who were watching and expectant of the Messiah, yes, but they didn’t think in extravagant, outward expressions of his glory.

Instead, they were steadfast and prayerful. They’d devoted their entire lives to this coming. They were patient and faithful, believing God had a plan we could not predict. Simeon and Anna were in this camp. They were two people who’d waited their whole lives for the coming of Jesus– without even knowing this little baby was who they were waiting for.

Forty days after Jesus’ birth, Mary and Joseph take him up to Jerusalem to dedicate him to God. They bring an offering– two pigeons– as their sacrifice. While they are in the temple, Simeon walks in.

We don’t know much about Simeon except for this: He was righteous and devout. This means he followed the Old Testament Law closely and took his job seriously. He had been waiting for the consolation of Israel. Mainly, he was waiting for God to fulfill his promise of coming to rescue and comfort his people.

The Holy Spirit had promised to him that he would see this happen in his lifetime and he banked on that promise with all he had.

It says in the text that Simeon was led by the Holy Spirit into the temple where he sees Jesus for the first time. He takes the little baby into his arms and says to God, “Lord, I can die now. I am ready because with my own eyes I have seen your salvation. It is now out in the open for everyone to see.”

I am amazed by the words that leave Simeon’s mouth at that moment. I am amazed that he was so close to God that he knew, at that moment, he was holding the promise. But more than that, I am amazed that Simeon wanted nothing more than to see the promise come to fruition– he didn’t even care to see it all play out.

Just seeing the baby was enough for him because his hope was not for himself but for the rest of the world.

How often are we more concerned with the rest of the world than we are with our own bubble?

How often do we stop and pray for the world at large instead of only using prayer time for our own needs?

These words of Simeon challenge me to ask: What matters most to me? Seeing other people restored and rescued or focusing inward on all my own needs?

Jesus didn’t arrive just for me and you.

He had a plan for the whole world but I think we forget that because we are too busy living our lives. Doing our thing. Caring about our people. Asking God to meet our needs.

Simeon is declaring out loud, “This is good news for everyone. No one is excluded from this good news I am holding in my arms.”

Today, I am using these words of Simeon to stretch my faith and step outside of myself. I am using them to remind myself that I am a just a dot in a really massive story and God didn’t come only for the dot, he came for everyone.

For all the people I discount.

For all the people I’m impatient with.

For all the people I assume are too far gone.

He came for everyone– it’s good news for everyone.

We continue to see this throughout the Gospels as Jesus grows up and lives his life, bringing hope to the lost. We see so many people who encounter him and cannot think to keep their mouths shut because what they’ve encountered is so good, and so precious, that they want everyone to have it.

Is this us?

Do we feel the same way?

Do I really act like it’s good news that I cannot help but share?

It’s only really news if you share it.

It only really matters if you open up your mouth and your home and your blessings to say to others, “Hey, I have found something worth talking about. I cannot keep it to myself any longer.”

READING

Luke 2:25-32

STEAL THIS PRAYER

Dear God, today I take the focus off my own wants and needs and I am panning out to see the others. Help me to see the needs of this world. Show me what I need to be praying for throughout this day. I know you will do it, Lord. I know you will.


 

 

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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!

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